Tome in Tokyo


Kudos to Cassio, the snappy-happy Tokyoite who insisted on shooting me outside every single authentic-looking eatery in Ginza, culminating in the kind of shot I’ve been waiting my whole life to achieve – a confused Japanese businessman giving me the early morning side-eye.

I spent a blissful few days in Tokyo (where blissful reads: total culture shock) with Gucci for The Sunday Times Style and discovered a few things I shall herewith share. But before I do, a little bit about Tome, whose pieces I packed for a humid Tokyo. I’m adding a ‘One To Watch’ franchise (which is not, should you be interested, sponsored) within my outfit posts, as I love and champion emerging designs wholly in what I wear. First up, Tome! A womenswear label from NYC created by Australian stylist Ryan Lobo and former Derek Lam Design Director, Ramon Martin – and one of my favourite shows at the recent SS17 New York Fashion Week – Tome launched in 2013. I’ve become incredibly interested by them in the last few months. I’m not the only one, Amal Clooney’s been trotting around in their striped jumpsuit and they were nominated for a prestigious CFDA Award. Their USP is intelligent shirting (yes, that’s a thing.) They do things with cotton I never knew a human could do. It’s not surprising to hear that they are both love 90s Helmut Lang. Making them very OTM is their preoccupation with sustainability; think, up-cycled denim. My eyes are peeled. Arigato gozaimusu!


Notes on Tokyo

– Liking sushi in Tokyo is not liking Itsu in London. Chicken paste? Fish jelly? Leather soup? Blowfish sashimi? Anyone? However I found an excellent gyoza place which happens to be also be v.OTM called Haraujuku Gyozarou. And BTW apple tea Starbucks fraps are the BOMB. Before I get hangry tweets, I am sure that excellent sashimi abounds. I just didn’t find any in my short trip.

– No-one speaks English. Not even @ the info booths. Check yourself before you cry. Like me. Because you’re jet-lagged to hell and you cannot find a single ATM that will take any other foreign card except for China Union Pay. Buy a phrase book. Make more of an effort than me, essentially.

– Speaking of jet lag, seratonin pills really are a saviour. 5-HTP from Holland & Barrett for those going East, really do the trick.

– Tokyo is incredibly expensive. I visited the most incredible vintage shop called Amore (there are two) stuffed full of perfectly preserved vintage Hermes, Chanel and Louis Vuitton, as recommended to me by BryanBoy, and the prices made me choke. But on Cat Street, kind of like Harajuku’s Redchurch Street, there are some great spots. I got a vintage Ralph Lauren shirt and some Levi’s from a place called Rainbow. Harajuku as a whole is obviously an assault of the senses, in the best possible way.

– Why can’t we get Shiatzy Chen in the UK? The Taiwanese label is quite the best thing I’ve ever seen.

– My other tourist hotspots: The Meji Shrine (also wish I had done Sensoji); Tokyo Hands for the madly brilliant beauty offerings; the cat cafe – or an owl, or a bunny, I mean they’re all overpriced and hilarious; the Robot Restaurant which is hilariously lo-fi on the tech and seriously, beyond description. It’s very expensive but please believe me when I say it’s very, very worth it.


I’m wearing a Tome shirt and slip dress and Rejina Pyo shoes.

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